This is the first official post on the Customer Data Platform Institute blog, even though we launched the Institute three weeks ago. There’s no deep reason for the delay, just that we’ve been busy getting other parts of the Institute functioning. The most prominent of these is the on-line Library of papers from the Institute and sponsoring vendors. We see the Library as the heart of the Institute because it holds such a wide range and depth of information on Customer Data Platforms and related topics. Reading the Library contents is an advanced education in all things CDP and education is what the CDP is all about.
The other activity that’s taken much energy is the daily newsletter, which you’ve been receiving if you’re an Institute member (and if you’re not, sign up here). Even though we limit the newsletter to three articles a day and those articles are just links to news items published elsewhere, it’s still a substantial effort to scan for appropriate items, do enough to understand what each item really represents, and write a several sentence comment. I’ll admit those comments are my favorite part since I get to have a bit of fun while writing them. But the real reason we bother with the comments, when it would be so much easier just to reprint the first few lines of the original articles, is to explain why a particular item is included. This is usually because it illustrates some larger trend or point that’s worth tracking. I’ve always thought of everything I write as a tile filling in one tiny piece of a larger mosaic. Every piece enriches the picture but you can only make sense of it by pulling back and looking at the whole. The newsletter items are more pieces in the mosaic and comments are a ways of showing where each piece fits in the grand scheme of things.
Of course, I do include an occasional item simply because it amuses me.
This blog is another part of the same project. It provides larger tiles than the newsletter but still contributes to the same big picture. I’m especially excited about the blog because we plan to have many expert voices. I’ll be one of them but the vendors sponsoring the Institute have agreed to contribute regularly. We’ll bring in outside voices as well. If things go as expected we’ll have almost one post per day, delivering a rich chorus of experts. They won’t always agree (in fact, I hope to occasionally start some productive arguements). But they should certainly cover the broad range of topics relevant to marketers at different stages in their customer data management journey. Truth be told, we are being uncharacteristically systematic (for me) in planning the mix – simply because I feel it’s so important to the members that we do it right.
Of course, even as I write this I’m scanning newsletter articles telling me that blogging is overworked, if not completely dead. For example, this one argues for more infographics while this one asks how your blog can stand out from 65 million others (it’s not such a great article, actually, but a killer headline). So part of me does worry that the institute will pump out too much content on the blog and elsewhere. But most of me – and the vendors who have been enthusiastic supporters of the Institute – thinks there’s a ton that hasn’t yet been said on the topic of Customer Data Platforms and customer data management in general and that we’ll all benefit from having the Institute broadcast as much of that information as possible.
And, if you’re worried, we will indeed get around to infographics, videos, slide-shares, podcasts, Webinars, discussion groups, calendars, and eventually real-world meetings and conferences. But it took three weeks to just get to this blog post, so be a little patient, okay?
In the meantime, enjoy what we have and let us know if you have thoughts on what we should add or would like to contribute something of your own.